National Library of France
Collections and services
Psalm CXXVI : Pro omni tempore. Sébastien de Brossard (1655-1730).
The department’s material also includes collections of execution equipment for lyrical theaters (with the exception of the Paris Opera and the Opéra-Comique, whose collections are held at the Opera Library), as well as for other institutions, such as the “Chapelle du roi” collection (18th and 19th century). These collections are rounded out by around 70,000 letters from musicians.
Collections of printed musical materials include the first examples of printed music (Ottaviano Petrucci’s Odhecaton) and an extensive collection of material published in Europe before 1800. From the 19th century onwards, these collections have been regularly expanded via the legal deposit scheme for printed music, which also covers contemporary music, variety music, and songs, and material produced for educational purposes (especially manuals).
The Manuscripts department holds musical manuscripts of Byzantine origin in its Greek collection, as well as numerous manuscripts that include musical notation in its Latin collection. It also holds treatises on Eastern music in its Arabic collection, as well as letters from famous musicians and composers.
The Arsenal Library (Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal) also holds around a thousand printed and handwritten music scores covering both secular and liturgical works, most from the 17th and 18th centuries, but also from the medieval era.
The Opera Library also holds a large amount of ancient and modern printed musical material. In particular, this includes instrumental works by Boccherini, and late 18th and early 19th century cantatas and oratorios preserved in the form of handwritten originals or copies.
The musical collections based at the Opera Library also include prestigious pieces or sets of pieces, such as original handwritten music scores of Debussy’s Le Martyre de Saint-Sébastien and Rossini’s Ermione, virtually all the operas of Jules Massenet and Gaspare Spontini, and a set of 17th and 18th century operas brought together within the La Salle collection.
The Georges Douay collection, held at the Arsenal Library (Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal), offers a number of music scores from operetta, opéra-bouffe and light music. The Lagarde collection also includes simplified piano arrangements of operas.
Also available for consultation is the collection of incidental and film music composer Maurice Jaubert (1900-1940), as well as those of violinists and teachers Jules Boucherit and Denise Soriano. Finally, scores from the City of Paris’s music competitions from the late 19th century to the 1940s have been donated to the department. (Some scores from the Théâtre de l’Odéon and the Maurice Jaubert collection are held in the Music department).
Monday, January 12, 2015
Where to consult the documents ?
Ask a librarianSINDBAD is a free virtual reference service providing document references and factual information. Ask a librarian (SINDBAD)